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* Sri Lanka and Brazil agree to cooperate in defense
Thu, Jan 16, 2014, 11:34 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 16, BrasÍlia: Sri Lanka and Brazil have signed an agreement to cooperate in the defense sector, especially in training of Sri Lankan military officers in Brazil.

The agreement was signed when Sri Lanka's Secretary of Defence and Urban Development Gotabhaya Rajapaksa met with the Defense Minister of Brazil Celso Amorim in Brasilia on Wednesday.

According to an official statement from the Brazilian Ministry of Defense, training and exchange of military, as well as technical and industrial cooperation in the defense sector were the main points of the bilateral meeting between Rajapaksa and the Brazilian minister.

The agreement paves the way for Sri Lankan military officers to participate in courses offered by the Brazilian Peacekeeping Operations Joint Center (CCOPAB) located in Rio de Janeiro.

Amorim has said that the courses of longer duration, such as those offered by the Superior War School (ESG), and the Jungle Warfare Training Center (CIGS) can be programmed to receive senior military officers of Sri Lanka from 2015. At the same time, Brazilian officials could participate in activities in schools of Sri Lanka Armed Forces.

In the area of defense, Rajapaksa has expressed interest in strengthening cooperation with the Armed Forces, especially in military exercises.

Rajapaksa has explained that Sri Lanka receives military officers of African countries and the integration with Brazil would be of utmost importance to strengthen the bilateral partnership.

The Brazilian minister, recalling that since 2008 trade has intensified to the point of registering a 300% increase in trade balance, has emphasized the need to strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

The meeting between the Defense Secretary and the Brazilian minister ended with the signing of the agreement formalizing the partnership of the two countries on military cooperation.

Sri Lanka Defense Secretary, who is on an official visit to Brazil, has visited the Navy Yard and Empresa Gerencial de Projetos Navais (EMGEPRON), a state owned company under the Brazilian Ministry of Defense in Rio de Janeiro and the Army headquarters in Brasilia.

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